I’ve seen some trucks and truck bodies in the past 40 to 50 years, but this combination just has to be the most intriguing of them all. A king-size vacuum cleaner, fully radio remote controlled. And that includes driving and maneuvering the Renault truck.
The machine’s carrier is a 2018 Renault K 460 8×4. The K-series is the truck maker’s most robust heavy-duty model, designed and built for harsh conditions and frequent off-road driving.
The truck’s engine is a Volvo based 10.8 liter inline-6 with a maximum power output of 460 DIN-hp. Volvo calls the 10.8 liter engine the D11, Renault the DTI 11 and the Mack version is called MP 7 (Volvo Trucks is the parent company of both Renault Trucks and Mack).
Each steering axle is rated at a legal maximum axle load of 9,000 kg (19,842 lbs).
The rear tandem is rated at a total axle load of 19,000 kg (41,888 lbs). There’s a good safety margin, as Renault’s factory rating is 26,800 kg (59,084 lbs). Add up all the numbers and you get a legal maximum GVM of 37,000 kg (81,571 lbs).
This bar with sensors, attached to the front bumper, makes the truck stop automatically if there’s a chance it will hit somebody or something when it’s driving or maneuvering while remote controlled. The driver/operator himself demonstrated the system worked…
Now to the most intriguing part, the suction excavator (also called vacuum excavator) and its integrated dump bed, produced by the RSP company from Germany.
Fluids, mud, soil and debris…nothing can escape from the creature’s proboscis.
This happy fellow with a healthy appetite shows exactly what is going to happen next…
In no time it slurped a small portion of easy to digest food.
What goes in, must come out. Getting ready for the unloading process.
Full dump mode.
A cross-sectional view of the same type of sunction excavator as shown in the article (courtesy of RSP Germany):
- Micromesh filter
- Separation system
- Hose carrier
- Radio remote control unit
- Sound absorption system
- Fan (the main component of the technology)
- Material container/dump bed
- Accessory holder
This 2017 video shows an RSP suction excavator in the US, mounted on a Kenworth T880.
Special thanks to the Witlox-guys, present at the 2018 Renaultoloog festival, for their enthusiastic demonstration and explanation to those who showed interest in their magnificent piece of equipment.
This looks like something that might come in handy in the Carolinas to clean up the fly ash spills. I was wondering how they’d go about it, maybe huge vacuums are a part of the answer.
Maybe this is a dumb question, but… why does this application need remote-controlled driving? Is it for toxic waste? If so, how do you get a driver safely back into the cab after it has been exposed to something like that???
That’s a very good question, actually. Perhaps it’s partly so the operator can get a better look at how much material is left in whatever he or she is suctioning without tedious clambering into the cab and repositioning. A very interesting machine all around.
Not a dumb question at all. I’m wondering exactly the same thing. Mr Dutch, explain!
(Can’t help adding that I was a sucker for Renaults, but this is a Renault for suckers. I’ll be quiet now).
“Renaults suck”. That’s what I’ve read many, many times. I’ll have to agree though that this one certainly does…big time!
“That Renault sucks!”
“Yes it does. It also filters, dumps , and drives on its own.”
Pretty much what John says below. No connection with toxic waste whatsoever. It’s for efficiency reasons and to sustain tempo. If the container is full, the truck can move forward to dump its load, move backwards again and it can be maneuvered to the exact spot where it was or has to be very easily. All without the driver/operator having to walk to the cab and get in and out of the cab endlessly while at the job. I’m sure the cab will stay a lot cleaner inside too…
Thanks for that. These sort of considerations are in no way obvious to non-truckies like me.
This almost looks like it was designed for jobs where there is at best a 50/50 chance of getting terminally stranded in something toxic….like a waste water treatment plant overflow.
To sort of go with Cody’s idea:
As someone who has traveled through North Carolina numerous times, this looks ideal for helping to maintain hog waste lagoons. If you have ever been within a few miles of a large scale hog farm you would understand why the driver would NOT want to be near the vehicle.
This isn’t really set up for sucking up liquids. It is for doing excavating where there may be utilities that would require a lot of hand digging, or where the utilities may be unknown.
It will also take up a lot less space at the site where it may be at a premium, since you don’t need a place for a pile or have to load it into a dump truck if you don’t have space.
Yes these use a vacuum for suction.
I’d guess the remote control driving is for getting the truck into a very tight situation, or to go from one pit to the next more quickly than stowing the remote that also operates the vacuum system, get into the cab, manoeuvre more slowly, get out etc.
The local contractor we use has a few different trucks for liquid waste, but nothing quite as big as this that I have seen at least. One they did a full refurbishment on because they couldn’t find a new truck that could carry the weight they needed with a low enough total height (maybe sub 2.5m?) to access inside some sites they service.
…”The local contractor we use has a few different trucks for liquid waste”…
It is what Scoutdude says above. It can suck up liquids, but primarily that is not what it was designed for. Above all, it’s an excavator.
Ideal if there are numerous cables and pipes in the soil. Or for clearing big tree roots. Or for renovations of old buildings in a city: the truck outside, sucking up debris that’s inside the building. Or sucking up contamined soil. Etc.etc.
Yes, similar but different. Probably could have used one of these recently though, there were a couple of jobs where an excavator ‘found’ underground cables. Luckily I don’t think there was any damage, and also that I was not involved with the work!
Quite common things here vacuum excavators and suction trucks, one was cleaning a yard sump next door to where I fueled up this arvo, a much smaller unit than this one though mounted on a small Fuso chassis, I havent seen a sidetipper version before all the ones Ive seen and one I drove tipped normally lifting from the front.
Theres been a lot of fibre optic cabling locally and these vacuum excavators are used in that operation
This is RSP’s latest model, the ESE 8 (the excavator in the article is an ESE 6):
It can dump to the left and to the right and there’s a variable dump height. It can dump its load directly in a dump truck, so to speak…
My town uses something like this mounted to I think the same cab, and thus likely a Renault/Volvo chasis (the truck is unbranded) in a much smaller size as a street cleaner and leaf collector.
Wow, this vacuum looks way more powerful than the one that comes with the Odyssey 🙂
I had to look that up first, but now I see what you mean.